Matchpoints. None vulnerable.
♠Q J 8 7 5 ♥K ♦K 6 4 ♣J 9 7 2
What’s your call?
“Pass,” said Walker. “Your values are way too soft to invite, and there’s no reason to insist on spades, especially because my partners occasionally have a singleton for this auction. That stiff ♥K looks more like a notrump card than a ruffing value.”
Steve Lawrence agreed. “Your singleton heart is the king,” he said. “Your spades aren’t worth mentioning again.”
“No need to stretch at matchpoints with a soft hand,” said Brad Theurer. “It is possible we belong in spades depending on what he holds there and how strong his heart suit is, but I will pass, opting for the higher scoring contract.”
“There is no reason to invite game or choose a partscore in spades,” said Don Stack. “we have plenty of high-card points so I will opt for everyone’s favorite contract at matchpoints: 1NT. If the opponents balance in 2♥, I might try 2♠ then.”
“It’s matchpoints, so we pass and hope to go plus,” said Linda and Robb Gordon. “This hand has soft values, a broken suit and honors in your short suits.”
“I’m not rebidding this spades suit, and I don’t look at my stiff ♥K as a disadvantage,” said Jill Meyers. “I have good values to play 1NT.”
“South’s values are junky, so the goal is to find the surest plus score,” said Allan Falk. “As there is no good way of finding out if there is a higher scoring contract, 1NT is as good as anything.”
“Pass,” said Barry Rigal. “No bid is my second choice, and there is no third choice.”
Rigal was sure pass is the correct call, but others weren’t so sure.
“I went back and forth on this,” said Mel Colchimiro, “and finally decided to pass. This is a very good problem. Bidding 2♠ is a close second choice. At IMPs, I would try 2♦.”
“Pass,” said Steve Robinson. “Because partner can have a singleton spade and good hearts, passing seems clear. If I bid 2♣, I have no good rebid if partner bids 2♥.”
Three panelists disagreed with Robinson and choose 2♣.
“Bridge Bulletin Standard says we play a new minor as invitational-to-game checkback,” said Peggy and John Sutherlin. “In responding, opener can rebid 2♠, 3♠ or 2♦ and we can pass whatever he bids.”
“2♣,” said Betty Ann Kennedy. “I’m willing to move forward with this hand pattern.”
Neither said how they plan to continue if partner bids 2♥ after 2♣.
Three experts chose to rebid 2♠.
“We don’t like to leave partner in 1NT with an unbalanced hand, even with all these high cards,” said Kitty and Steve Cooper. “We don’t favor the modern style of rebidding 1NT with a singleton spade, and that makes a 2♠ call more attractive.”
Kerri Sanborn agreed with 2♠. “I hope I don’t find a 1=4=5=3 pattern in dummy,” she said. “As long as partner has at least two spades, it’s probably right to pull from1NT.”
“I’d rather play in a major suit fit with a 5–2 or 5–3 fit,” said Larry Cohen. “My style is not to rebid 1NT with a singleton, but if I was playing with somebody who does, I’d pass 1NT.”
With 10 HCP, passing 1NT looks safe. With a weaker hand (and a singleton heart), bidding 2♠ would be more appealing.